Les Petites Tables Francaises (The Little French Tables)

I have always been a francophile. Since my parents enrolled me in French Immersion as a kindergartener, I learned to speak the language early and grew up loving all things French. So when we started Anastasia Vintage, one of the first ideas we wanted to tackle was a project with French typography.

We found these little tables on Craigslist and immediately wanted to rescue them. The gentleman who sold them to us mentioned they were about 70 years old, and their age was definitely showing! They were broken in many places and very unevenly painted in a not-so-attractive brown color, but we knew with a little love, they would really shine.

french typography tables before painting

After stripping and sanding, we primed them with Kilz, then applied a few coats of Krylon spray paint in Almond. But even after all that, the tables just seemed to be lacking a little...something. You know that feeling when a project seems almost done but not quite? Like a great recipe that just needs a bit more salt to take it from tasty to awesome? That was the state of these tables.
Although they aren't French in style, a vintage typography graphic seemed a great choice to give them some oomph and complement the already lovely details. So we turned to our favorite source for vintage images, The Graphics Fairy!

Adding the darling Parisian apartment graphic took some trial and error. We first attempted the wax paper method, which left us with an image that was just too faint (maybe it works better on unpainted wood?) So we tried again using the blender pen method, and voila! It was the perfect touch these little beauties needed. To finish them off, we added a charcoal gray glaze and light distressing, and they were done!

(You can find info on the wax paper and blender pen transfer methods at The Graphics Fairy site, too!)

french typography Paris graphic blender pen transfer

french typography Paris image transfer table side carvings

french typography table carvings glazed

French typography tables Paris graphic image transfer

Just look at those lovely lines and curves! True, they aren't really French...but they should be :)

Tell me about your image transfer projects - what methods do you like to use?

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Shades of Gray, Part 2: The Retro Modern Bookcase

I'm so excited to share the story behind today's project with you!

Recently our stash of project pieces was starting to seem a bit empty, so I went looking for a small solo project I could tackle quickly. In typical fashion, I visited one of my favorite freebie spots - it shall remain nameless (heehee!), but let's just say, we never leave disappointed :)

As usual, there were a few other folks there at the time. I had already picked up an awesome upholstered chair, when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a little brown piece that everyone else just seemed to be passing by. I almost did too, until I spotted those tell-tale tapered legs - I knew then I was looking at something special.

I didn't know exactly what it was, but it was too good not to snatch up and pop into my trunk!

mid century modern bookcase

It took only a bit of research to learn that it was, in fact, a bookcase, and as I suspected, a mid century modern piece. And a Danish one at that! Score!

As much as I loved the original wood finish, there were so many nicks and dents to be filled that painting was a must. With the modern, clean lines, I knew this little gem would look great with a contrasting color scheme, but black and white was a bit harsher than I really wanted. Once again, it was gray to the rescue - this time, a lovely dark gray with blue undertones.

{ Did you catch Shades of Gray: Part 1? Find it here! }

With a bit of cleaning and spray paint to brighten those brass feet, the bookcase was done in less than a day!

grey and white mid century modern bookcase  
grey and white mid century modern bookcase side view

grey and white mid century modern bookcase feet close up

A small project, but one with lots of impact. Sometimes those are just what I need in life :)

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Shades of Gray, Part 1: The Cast-Off Chair

I'm not sure if it's the abundance of cloudy weather we've been having in central Ohio lately, but we've been really inspired to explore many shades of gray these days. It is such a wonderfully versatile color that compliments so many other colors. So much fun to experiment with, don't you think?

One of our earliest pieces was a lovely gray-beige coffee table it was gone in less than 24 hours. Woohoo! Raise the roof!! (Apparently, we're really into raising the roof these days :) ).

grey beige greige painted oval coffee table glazed carvings

One of our more recent cloudy weather-inspired pieces was a Craigslist curb alert chair that was in pretty awful shape, but had loads of potential! It was solid wood and coated in an odd plastic-paint-like material that was flaking big time, and the seat was pretty stained and icky.

painted wood brocade carved chair before paint stripper

stained chair seat fabric before upholstery

See what I mean? Ick.

We weren't even sure we'd be able to remove the plasticy-paint stuff, but we took a stab at it with our favorite paint stripper, and it worked like a dream.

Citristrip stripping paint from chair wood

Pssst...recognize the dresser in the background to the left? :)

It took quite some time, but we finally got all of the paint removed. Isn't that carving just to die for?! Swoon...

carved brocade wood chair back splat paint stripper

Once we were down to the bare wood, we chose a lilac-grey tone draw out the ornate carving and curves. It wasn't difficult to find damask fabric that would mimic the chair's features without detracting from them, and once the fabric was chosen, we mixed up a custom color of chalk paint. Neutral enough to compliment lots of color schemes, with just enough lilac to give it some punch!

Quick sidenote: The "fabric first, paint later" rule applies for decorating any room of your home! If you first choose your decor pieces, finding a matching paint color is a piece of cake! It's much more difficult to select paint first, then try to find decor that's a perfect match :)

cutting high density foam painted chair seat upholstery

There was no question that the seat cushion would have to be replaced and re-upholstered (see aforementioned ickiness). So we went to work replacing the cushion with two inch foam, batting, and lots of staples.

Covering the chair with fabric was a bit of a challenge, since neither the seat nor the fabric had any perfectly straight lines. Our solution? Once the fabric was cut to size, we positioned it on the seat and secured it at the back with tape. That allowed us to flip it over, check its straightness, and reposition it as many times as we needed to get it just right before stapling it down. Give it a shot - it really works well!

The chair was a bit one-dimensional with just the first layer of paint, so we added a final touch of whitewashing and dry brushing to really give it some character.

close up of lilac painted chair carved back splat

And here it is!

lilac painted carved wood chair damask upholstery after

We just love love love the finished product!

painted lilac grey vintage chair damask upholstery

{ Here's Part 2 of my Shades of Grey! }

Featured at:
http://roadkillrescue.net/2014/10/chair-revival/       Power of Paint 


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